Unsecured creditors of the failed pub and restaurant group Laurel face
losses of more than £130m, administrators Kroll have revealed.
Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz put the chain into administration in March
and then bought 293 of its 383 pubs and restaurants via to newly-formed
companies via a ‘pre-pack’ arrangement.
The controversy surrounding the deal once more raises questions about
pre-pack administrations, which allow companies to offload liabilities before
buying back assets reports
Although sources close to Bay Restaurant Group and Town & City Pub
Company, the two businesses formed after the administration, claim the majority
of creditors have subsequently been repaid.
Laurel’s unsecured creditors – including food suppliers, carpet makers and
magazine publishers – faced a loss of as much as £133m, according to documents
filed by Kroll, the administrator.
Kroll put Laurel into administration after it was unable to finance repayment
obligations on £185.5m of loans from Kaupthing and Dresdner Kleinwort.
According to Kroll, the banks then financed a subsequent £150.6m acquisition
to take the pubs and restaurants out of administration.
Laurel’s unsecured creditors were left with liabilities totalling £134.2m
after the administration.
Unsecured creditors have a £600,000 fund to remunerate them, as a condition
of the administration.
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Smith & Williamson has been appointed administrators of charity 4Children